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Alex Travis with guest Catherine Craig December 6, 2011
 

Summary: Alex Travis with guest Catherine Craig
December 6, 2011
Conservation through Enterprise
It was a pleasure to help host Dr. Catherine Craig on her return to Cornell. Dr. Craig introduced the work of
the organization she founded, Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, International (CPALI). She began
with a brief presentation and video introduction of the land use and policy practices that are leading to
ecosystem degradation in Madagascar. Dr. Craig then described some of CPALI's efforts to achieve
conservation outcomes by focusing on livelihoods and food security. CPALI is currently promoting the
production of unprocessed silk products from the cocoons of various native silk moths. They are pursuing
different market opportunities, but recognize that they need to scale up dramatically to reach a point of
being able to maintain stable contracts.
The audience asked many questions including farm labor allocation and time of peak labor inputs, the
"addition vs substitution" issue, soils, crop diversification, access to markets and control of value chain, the
potential for payment for ecosystem services in developing nations, roles for women's cooperatives, the
potential to develop value-added products from projected by-products (e.g. human or poultry food from
chrysalids), and the impact of cyclones on production. The questions revealed strong interest in the strategy
of pursuing conservation through enterprise. Although we did not tackle all of Dr. Craig's questions regarding
scale and replicability across different cultures, the group discussion suggested areas of possible future
synergy for CPALI with Cornell faculty and students. These topics and others were explored further in
individual conversations between Dr. Craig and several faculty members.

  

Source: Angenent, Lars T. - Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

 

Collections: Renewable Energy; Engineering